Manchester City have reached the surprising decision of putting a top attacker up for sale in order to fund their move for Jude Bellingham, according to a report.
In recent weeks, Bellingham has emerged as one of Pep Guardiola’s top transfer targets. The central midfielder has proven himself to be one of the best young players in the world amid top performances for both Borussia Dortmund and England.
Dortmund have firmly told all of his potential suitors he will not be going anywhere during the January transfer window. This is because he is essential to their hopes of getting into the Bundesliga top four and reaching the latter stages of the Champions League.
However, things will change come the end of the season. Dortmund know they will find it incredibly tough to keep him and are gradually warming to the possibility of a sale.
Liverpool are expected to begin negotiations over Bellingham, while Real Madrid and Chelsea could swoop in for him too. But City will put up stern competition as Guardiola wants his team to win the race for the hugely talented 19-year-old.
Valuations of the player vary, with some coming in at £90million and others coming in at £130m. In late December, the Daily Mail claimed a secret release clause in Bellingham’s contract could see him depart Dortmund for just £60m. However, this is yet to be confirmed by other sources.
It is likely Bellingham will cost closer to £100m. And City know that in order to sign him without breaking Financial Fair Play regulations, they must sell a valuable player first.
Shockingly, winger Jack Grealish could be the man to make way for Bellingham at the Etihad. Of course, City spent a British record £100m to sign Grealish from Aston Villa in August 2021.
Man City star in danger of being sold
But according to Football Insider, the 27-year-old has yet to fully convince Guardiola on his ability and whether he is able to fit into the Spaniard’s style of play.
And with Grealish facing competition for a starting spot from the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Julian Alvarez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva, Guardiola is willing to let him leave.
As such, City chiefs have apparently placed Grealish on the transfer market. They will listen to offers for him in the summer, and several teams are expected to make approaches.
The report does not reveal how much City would want to sell Grealish. Presumably, though, they would want to recoup a decent amount of the £100m they spent on him.
City’s asking price could prevent a Villa return from happening. While Unai Emery’s side have money to spend, they will not be able to get near his original £100m fee.
Once Grealish is off City’s books, Football Insider anticipate them to go all out when trying to sign Bellingham. They would be able to throw big money at Dortmund without risking the wrath of FFP.
City are likely to let a player leave to help Bellingham join. However, it is hard to see this man actually being Grealish.
He is still relatively new into his City journey. Due to this, Guardiola will probably want to give him some more time before he truly shines.
Plus, team-mates Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva are more likely candidates to leave than Grealish. Gundogan has been tipped to return to Germany, while Silva is open about his desire to join ‘a new project’.
Meanwhile, a pundit believes Everton have found a ‘weakness’ in Erling Haaland, which would be a massive help to Chelsea and Manchester United.
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